Braves sign All-Star closer Kenley Jansen

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The Dodgers lured longtime Braves star Freddie Freeman away in free agency this week, so naturally Atlanta had to poach one of Los Angeles’ veterans in return.

All-Star closer Kenley Jansen has signed with the defending champion Braves, the team announced Friday night. The deal is for one year and is worth $16 million.

Jansen joins what was already an elite bullpen, and may push it over the edge to becoming tops in all of the Majors. Atlanta now has Jansen, Will Smith, Tyler Matzek and Collin McHugh as options in the back-end of their ‘pen, four pitchers who could easily be top-shelf closers on other clubs. They also have Kirby Yates waiting in the wings once he returns from injury, and young arms like Luke Jackson and A.J. Minter in the stable as well.

The Braves had many key pieces hitting the open market after last season’s World Series run, which led many to doubt their chances at repeating as champions. But while they have lost Freeman, they’ve brought in slugger Matt Olson, re-signed Eddie Rosario and assembled their menacing bullpen. Oh, and they’re set to get MVP candidate Ronald Acuña Jr. back from injury after he didn’t even play in the postseason.

Jansen brings plenty of playoff experience with him, so he’ll be able to answer the call in big moments should the Braves get back there. He won the World Series in 2020 with the Dodgers and has appeared in 57 playoff games.

A three-time All-Star, Jansen has racked up 350 saves over his 12-year career. In 2021, he posted a 2.22 ERA and struck out 86 batters over 69 innings. He logged a 185 ERA+, meaning he was significantly better than the league average pitcher (100).



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